AFL venues attacked over costs to fans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL venues attacked over costs to fans

06/05/2009 05:18:17 PM Comments (0)

The AFL have used their annual club financial review to continue hammering the MCG and Etihad Stadium in their ongoing battle over club deals.

League chief executive Andrew Demetriou also attacked venues over the cost to fans of parking, food and drinks.

The AFL have taken Etihad Stadium to court over the venue's deals with Melbourne clubs and the league is also lobbying the MCG to renegotiate their arrangements.

The finance report had a strong focus on the difference in revenue between Victorian and non-Victorian clubs, stating there was a $2.7 million gap in net stadium returns between the two groups.

The one glaring problem among the non-Victorian teams is Port Adelaide, who have well-documented financial woes.

The Power are in negotiations with the SANFL over their deal at AAMI Stadium.

Demetriou said AFL venues, and specifically Etihad Stadium, needed to ease the financial pressure on fans.

"The AFL have held their prices, but we're seeing nothing from the venues," he said.

"In fact, they're putting prices up - food's up, car parking is up (at Etihad) and honestly they need to take a good look at themselves on that front, because everything else in this world is coming down at the moment during this financial crisis."

The league argue the deals with MCG and Etihad Stadium need to change because of changed circumstances.

But the current plight is a direct result of the AFL's decision to rationalise Melbourne grounds.

Also, Melbourne clubs negotiated their stadium deals with the AFL's approval.

For all the current woes, Demetriou said the league would be well-placed by ditching Waverley Park for Etihad Stadium which it will own from 2025 onwards.

"In the long run, it is far better that we've invested in a ground here that is delivering great value to our supporters," he said.

"But unfortunately what's happening is, the clubs are suffering - the clubs who are generating this economy aren't getting their fair share."

Nevertheless, Demetriou repeated that the league would look at reviving Visy Park (Princes Park), especially given there will be more games once the league expands.

Club profitability plummeted by 49 per cent last year, but that was from an abnormally-high figure in 2007.

Five clubs made losses last year and Demetriou said the state of the economy would probably impact on this year's figures.

"I'm not worried if clubs make a loss this year, because this is a really difficult environment," he said.

"If a club was to make a $100,000 loss or a $400,000 loss, that might not be a bad result in this environment."

One of the most pleasing trends for the AFL is the ongoing strength of club memberships.

"We had forecast, particularly given the global financial crisis, that membership perhaps would fall this year ... (but) it's defying our expectations," Demetriou said.

"My guess is that ... people do want to feel a sense of belonging to their football club, they feel like they own a part of their club.

"In these difficult times, that becomes even more important."

Demetriou was also bullish about the next broadcast rights deal, with initial discussions underway.

"I can tell you this much - we will not get a drop in our broadcast revenue," he said.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2020 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news